Individual perceptions about film can be quite diverse depending on a variety of factors, which is why it is quite common to find two people with diverging views about a specific film, each with their own rationales. Similarly, every organizational environment is characterized by different factors that influence employee satisfaction and subsequently behavior. A combination of social, political, or even economic factors can contribute to the diverging perceptions and the realization of individual inspirations in a particular organizational context; can help to tolerate the divergent views. The movie Bird Box, for instance, is one in which divergent views are inevitable because of the combination of factors, such as the plot, the moral lessons and the level of audience satisfaction that can be gained from it. The extent of attractiveness associated with this film varies significantly and, in this paper, two diverging views will be presented. The diverging views will be compared to a conventional organizational environment through the concept of organizational behavior with reference to the nursing environment.
Plot Summary and Initial Perceptions
The movie Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, can only be described as a masterpiece. In the film, two story lines are juxtaposed. The movie runs on two parallel storylines: The first is the present day story, while the second storyline depicts the happenings five years prior to the present are shown. The two stories merge perfectly towards the end of the film such that one is able to see the transition from the last five years to the present. The plot begins with a mother (Malorie), played by Sandra Bullock, begins a journey to an unknown but perceived safe destination with her two children Boy and Girl. The journey has to be carried out in blindfolds and she convinces the children not to remove those blindfolds at any time as it would result into them seeing an evil entity that causes people to commit suicide. The events that lead to this journey are presented in the alternating storyline that begins five years earlier when Malorie was pregnant with her child. In this alternate storyline, Malorie and her sister Jess are first seen together watching a news item in which mass suicides are reported. The unfolding of events leads them to the realization of the existence of an entity, which possesses those who see it and takes the forms of their most livid fears or their greatest losses thus driving them to suicide. Eventually, the entity reaches America, causing massive loss of lives. Five years after the start of these events, Malorie is finally left alone with the children, who still have no names. All the people she had been with in the five years, including the mother of one of the children with her, have been lost because of contact with the entity. The movie concludes with Malorie reaching the safe place, which is a school for the blind where the entity cannot reach them, declares that she is the mother of the two children and is accepted at the facility. She also names the children at that point, giving the girl her mother’s name (Olympia) and the boy, the name of the only contact she had remained with and grown close to over the five years (Tom).
The film has generated mixed feelings across different audiences and different times. For instance, I initially had negative feelings about the movie. At the beginning, the movie felt unattractive and I was uncertain about its moral lessons. I believe that certain social and environmental factors throughout my life and my interaction with the movie influenced my perception of it. On the other hand, I have a friend who previously watched the movie and felt that it was a bit uninteresting due to the complexity of the plot. He thinks that besides the lack of a straight forward plot, the movie also seems to mock the disabled. These diverse perceptions can be attributed to various other factors that are discussed herein.
Factors Influencing Perceptions of Movies
The differences in individual perceptions of any film can be attributed to various factors. The perception of film attractiveness is dependent on the level of audience satisfaction, investment, and the intention of the film. One of such factors is the interest of the audience. According to Martin (2019), the interest of the audience on a film is a function of various factors, including the content of the film, the use of different elements of art in the film, and the depiction of various characteristics in the film. In terms of the depictions, the film genre also determines the level of interest that an audience is able to develop in the film. Bird Box belongs to the post-apocalyptic horror genre. The apocalyptic horror genre is characterized by the occurrence of events that threaten the existence of the earth’s technological civilization. Through such events, most of the population of the earth is wiped out in bizarre circumstances (Harmonic, 2017). The scenes in the movie are quite horrendous, mostly showing deaths and extremely painful or shocking happenings. The characteristics of this genre or any other affect the interest of the audience in that those who are naturally inclined to watch horror movies would enjoy watching it while those that do not enjoy watching such movies would find it less interesting thus would have a negative attitude towards the film. In this particular case, it is possible that this difference was one of the causes of the differences in perceptions between my friend and I.
The interest of an individual in a particular subject influences their perception by affecting their satisfaction with the content. According to Hassan et al. (2016), interest in a film is one of the factors that drive the motivation to continue watching it or enjoy it. Additionally, this concept can be compared to the phenomenon of organizational behavior, in which several factors influence the behavior of employees and even leaders in an organization (Kondalkar, 2007). Building motivation is one such way to promote a positive organizational behavior, and this can only be done by satisfying or giving the employees the impression that an organization pursues their interest through the satisfaction of certain needs (Dailey, 2015). The elements of interest, motivation, and satisfaction are, therefore, connected in film as in a corporate environment. Learning an individual’s interest on certain needs or motivation provides a channel for their satisfaction and, subsequently, the development of a positive attitude not only towards their roles but also the organization as a whole.
Maintaining employee motivation and interest is not a simple fete because workers are influenced by several other factors. For instance, age could be a contributing factor to divergent views. An environment in which the age diversity is characterized by large age gaps between the youngest employees and the oldest ones, for instance, is bound to have significant divergences in perspectives. Decision making and management styles differ significantly across ages, and this difference often causes conflicts in the workplace (Bauer & Erdogan, 2012). An effective management process takes into consideration these divergent views and develops processes that are inclusive. The best way to achieve this inclusivity is by developing organizational behaviors that foster employee engagement, recognizing good performance regardless of the experience of the employees, and rewarding those who develop a positive attitude towards learning (Bauer & Erdogan, 2012). In the nursing environment, a multidisciplinary approach with the nurse as a leader and the most active member of the patient care team is encouraged. Understanding the differences between individuals can help to understand their behaviors and develop strategies to manage them and work with them effectively in the multidisciplinary environment. The divergent perceptions of the film Bird Box between my friend and I provide an example of how this concept can be applied in various scenarios. According to Martin (2019), differences film perceptions and enjoyment exist across ages. For example, older individuals are less likely to enjoy horror films because of their dissociation from empathy and fearfulness. My friend is older, 60 years of age, and had been working as a nurse leader in one of the hospitals until his recent retirement. With so many years of experience as a nurse, it is inevitable that he developed sufficient empathy thus the movie caused him to be emotional.
Another possible rationale for the observed difference between my perception about the film and that of my friend could be our background. The background, in this case, could include religious and cultural values and beliefs to which each of us ascribes to. Thompson and Yokota (2004), posit that underlying beliefs and values can influence personal perceptions about films and their impacts on the audience. Individuals who hold liberal beliefs are more likely to watch horror or even sexually explicit scenes (Thompson & Yokota, 2004). On the other hand, those who hold conservative beliefs would shun such movies. In the corporate environment, values and beliefs affect the decision-making process and organizational behavior in general. In nursing practice, one of the concepts that are popularized in the contemporary society is that of cultural competence in nursing. The basis of cultural competence is that cultural diversity, which is the divergence of beliefs and values between nurses and their patients, is inevitable in the contemporary nursing environment (Lin, Wu, & Hsu, 2019). The effectiveness of nursing practice and leadership is dependent on the cultural competence of the nurses’ involved in particular cases. Accordingly, Ellinas, Allan, and Johansson (2017), point out that every other workplace requires an understanding of cultural differences to be inclusive and to be united in employee behavior. Therefore, by understanding how the film industry particularly targets and appeals to different audiences through cultural differences can help even nurses in developing their cultural competence by understanding its universality.
Organizational behavior is one of the key determinants of organizational success. In the nursing environment, multidisciplinary collaboration and partnership are some of the essential determinants of effective performance. In any organization, people have different perspectives and understanding the rationales behind their divergent perspectives is essential towards achieving effective organizational behavior. The film “Bird Box” provides a perspective from which individual behaviors can be evaluated. The same perspectives can be used in an organizational environment to understand divergence in individual behaviors.
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